I recently had to teach a lesson on directions as part of my first year English class. Last year I had the idea of giving the students a treasure hunt to complete which was moderately successful. It entailed me hiding four clues around the school campus with directions to the next clue. Once students found a clue, their was a simple riddle on the back which, when solved, would give them a number. Once all the four clues where found then, they would have a four letter number referring to a room where I was waiting for them.
A typical clue looked like the following (where the circle marks where they need to write the number):
- Coins / treasure for students to hide
- A map of the campus for each group
- A sound cloud account to store groups directions to their treasure (not 110% necessary, but recommended).
- An iPod or smart phone for each group (not 100% necessary, but recommended).
- Brainstorm ways of giving directions and write them on the board (for reference).
- Put up a map on the board and direct each other to various buildings located on the map (controlled practice).
- Complete an information gap activity guiding other students to various unknown locations.
- Ask students to describe how to get to various rooms in the university (close to the classroom).
- Actually leave the classroom and attempt to lead your partner to the location you thought of.
The important thing that students learn from point 5 above is that they can't use words like "stop" when they write their treasure hunt, so they have to use expressions such as "when you can see ____ turn left."
- To lead students to a particular place on campus.
- At that point will be a piece of treasure.
- Once there, they take a piece of the treasure and bring it back to class to prove that they found it.
- For groups to devise a precise set of directions that other groups can follow to get to the treasure.
- Groups will be judged on how many groups managed to complete their route, so accuracy is essential.
- Students write their directions out on paper.
- Once they have the general directions written out, they go to the actual location, hide the treasure and write the final detailed instructions (such as "The treasure is under two stones").
- Students record their directions onto the shared sound cloud account via an iPod: http://soundcloud.com/tduenglish
- Hand out the iPods and show them how to access other groups directions. I actually found that most groups had at least one smart phone user, so they decided to use their own phones for the most part.
- Students listen to the directions on the iPods, go and find the treasure, then come back to class.
- Once back, they write down the directions they heard on the left hand of a piece of A4 paper, and make any improvements that they can think of on the right hand side.
- For homework (or if you have time in class) get students to complete a grammar/vocabulary focus activity. I used the grammar focus page from their textbooks.